BOURNEMOUTH’S historic Russell-Cotes art gallery and museum has hosted its first wedding.

The Victorian villa is one of the town’s historical and architectural gems and is now set to be a sought-after wedding venue.

Five rooms are licensed for ceremonies while receptions can be held in the Morning Room.

Justin and Sarah Hextall were the first people to get married in the 112-year-old venue, choosing a ceremony in the opulent drawing room.

Justin said: “We chose the Russell-Cotes because it reflects so many things that are so important to Sarah and I – passion, love, beauty and the individual.

“The gallery is an amazing building, in a stunning location with fantastic views across the bay.

“It’s also jam-packed with stunning art and run by people passionate about their work.”

Cllr Lawrence Williams, cabinet member for tourism, leisure and culture, said: “This is a very exciting venture for the Russell-Cotes.

“The new wedding service offers couples a rare opportunity to get married in a beautiful and grand Victorian house – a world apart from other venues within the town and surrounding area.”